MBN Director ordered to repay more than $30,000

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Mississippi State Auditor Shad White released an audit of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics. The report shows MBN’s Executive Director John Dowdy will be required to repay $30,122 to taxpayers.

White said the improper payments identified in the audit came, in part, in the form of compensatory time buy backs. In order to buy back this compensatory time, MBN is required to obtain permission from the Commissioner of Public Safety, and the Director of MBN was paid for compensatory time without that permission and over the objection of MBN staff.

According to the report, compensatory time buy backs are much more limited for civilians than they are for law enforcement officers. White said Dowdy was not certified as a law enforcement officer, but he reportedly asserted that he is and exceeded the compensatory buy back limitation for civilians.

White said Dowdy was also given a clothing allowance that, by state law, may only be utilized by law enforcement officers.

According to Mississippi law, there are requirements to be considered a sworn law enforcement officer, and the executive director of MBN does not meet them. Law enforcement officers are required by law to meet the minimum qualifications set forth by the Board on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Training. The Director is not certified by that board.

“The Auditor’s office must fairly enforce the laws around spending. Everyone—whether you are a clerk in a small town or a director of a large state agency—must follow those laws. Enforcing the law fairly is exactly what we are doing in this audit,” said White.

These MBN findings were made during a routine compliance audit.

The audit report can be found online at the Auditor’s website.

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